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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2011 Mar;43(3):557-9. doi: 10.1007/s11250-010-9730-z. Epub 2010 Nov 21.

Prevalence of antimicrobial residues in raw table eggs from farms and retail outlets in Enugu State, Nigeria.

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Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria.


The use of antimicrobial agents in poultry production results in their accumulation in the body tissues and products such as milk and egg. The subsequent accumulation of these drugs and their metabolites in body cells is known as drug residue. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial residues in eggs from poultry farms and retail outlets in Enugu State, Nigeria. Eggs from 25 selected commercial farms and ten retail outlets were screened for the prevalence of antimicrobial residue. Also, structured questionnaires were administered to 25 commercial farms in the state to determine the management practices and the most widely used antimicrobial drugs in farms and possible association between the management practices and the occurrence of antimicrobial residues in eggs from these farms. All the 25 farms surveyed use oxytetracycline. Eggs from nine of the surveyed farms tested positive for antimicrobial residue and three of the ten surveyed farms also tested positive for antimicrobial residue. No association was observed (p 0.05; Fisher's exact test) between the occurrence of antibiotic residues in eggs and farm size, feed source and housing systems. This study was able to demonstrate the presence of antimicrobial residues in eggs destined for human consumption. Drugs like nitrofurans which has been banned for use in food animals are still very much in use in Enugu State, Nigeria. Antibiotics given as feed additives may give rise to drug residues in food animals.

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